Ag with EmA Day at the Beach with a Farmer
When you press your toes into the hot sand and watch the waves crash against the beach, you are most likely not thinking about farmers at all. Why would you be? You are surrounded by palm trees and there is not a cornfield anywhere in sight. However far you may be from an actual farm, in reality, a farmer is right there with you in the form of the many products that their essential work provides to us.
The beach towel you are laying on to soak up some rays might have come from a cotton farmer in Texas. Cotton has a growing season of 150-180 days, which is the longest of any annually planted crop in the US.
While sitting in the hot sun, it is important to stay hydrated and drink lots of fluids. One delicious option is to get some lemonade to sip on, which could have been squeezed by a farmer in Florida. One pitcher of lemonade requires 4 to 6 large lemons.
A day at the beach would not be complete without a grill out! Are you having hotdogs, hamburgers, or maybe even a veggie burger? These all came from farmers all over the country who raise pigs, cattle, soybeans, and other vegetables. Think of all of the toppings you could put on: ketchup, mustard, relish, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and mayonnaise. Each one of these was grown or includes ingredients straight from the farm! During hot dog season (Memorial Day to Labor Day), Americans typically eat 7 billion hot dogs. That is a lot of grilling!
After lunch, it is time to apply more sunscreen so you don’t burn! Sunscreen can contain ingredients like stearic acid, which can be derived from pigs or cows. Did you know most people should be using about an ounce of sunscreen for proper coverage?
A game of catch on the beach with a football was also provided to you from a cow raised by a farmer who may be located in Wyoming. One cowhide can produce about 20 footballs.
The ice cream shop near the water (my personal favorite) would not have been able to give you a 3-scoop waffle cone without the help from a dairy farmer in Wisconsin, whose cows each produce 7.5 gallons of milk per day. Even the water itself should make you think of a farmer as it is essential for their crops and animals to survive!
As you wave goodbye to the sandy shore and crashing waves, you might be driving home with ethanol fuel, which comes from corn farmers-maybe even one in Illinois, near Cook County.
No matter where you are this summer, which beach or family vacation you are on, a farmer is always right there with you in the form of all the things that you need for a great trip! We must always take a moment to recognize and appreciate all that farmers provide for us! Thanks to them, we can travel because we do not have to stay home and tend to our own herd of cows for milk and beef or water our own crops to ensure we will have food for dinner. Instead, each day we can be assured that there is a farmer who is planting, growing, or harvesting food for us to enjoy. So put on your sunglasses and enjoy this warm weather, but don’t forget to support and thank your local farmers!